What “Not to Say When Speaking to a Working Mom”

Clock strikes midnight and just as half of the world is ZZZzzzing their way to sleep, the working moms may still be awake on their beds, completing a mental ‘to-do-list’ for the following morning. If you are a working mom, I am sure you work at getting everything move like clockwork. When in a room with working moms, you definitely do not want to get dagger looks from them should you find yourself mistakenly saying these things. Read up.

“You’re Working, Why?”I am not so sure if this question was meant to be answered when asked. I mean, what can be an appropriate answer for it, anyway? The truth that you have to work because you gotta work. From Sarah Jessica Parker’s movie: I Don’t Know How she Does it, she was caught saying: “Without work, I am not me but without you (talking to the husband) and the kids, I am nothing.” So believe us when we say, we know our priorities, we definitely do not work to feed an ego that needs to be promoted every year, we also do not keep lavish lifestyles to maintain with our double-income pays, but we do it with family and kids in mind. Just as the rest of the stay-at-home moms do when they plan the menu. The work we do should also be no different from the same value you get as a work-at-home mom. No mom type is better than the other, we all get better at making any season work for us, for our marriage and for our kids. So next time you meet a working mom who juggles work, parenting, family, house care, travel, ministry, me-time, don’t ask why because with God’s grace, it can be done.

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“Don’t take Shortcuts” – there’s 24 hours for everyone but working moms tend to take multi-tasking to the highest level. In cases when there’s just cooking, homework and doing the groceries to juggle, we need to add show up to work on time, do that report, arrange kids’ dental appointment while at work, call up the husband while in transit from work, wash up and get ready for couple time at night. Shortcuts are among working moms’ best buddies. Allow us to use instant kitchen mixes, mincer, automatic juicers, buy ready-to-wear kids’ costumes, speed-read and write and watch while attempting to have weekend afternoon naps (if that’s ever possible).

“You are not coming? But you have to be there!” – If all working moms will say ‘yes’ to everything on the calendar, we will have to be at least three places in one time. If you find a working mom declining a party or two, or missing to go and celebrate your baby’s first haircut, or skipping the late night meet up, there must be a very good reason for her to do that. You have to remember that weekends are not the best time to socialize and keep in touch for the working moms because these are the only days we get to stay with the kids for a full day. We look forward to staying home or stepping out with the kids on weekends when the rest of the neighbourhood moms plan who to meet this Saturday or what event to attend on Sunday.

I get guided with how God has wired me to move. There is nothing you need to do that you cannot tag your kids along. Life is not paused when you work and have kids. There is no better version of my life than enjoying to witness my kids’ milestones while enjoying the blessing of work. I do not miss anything even in this season. By all means, teach Sunday school with kids in tow. Attend that book club luncheon while kids go to playdate. Date and encourage a friend while kids date ‘Dad’, or while in between bookstore/library visits. Enjoy that newly-opened restaurant with kids, just make sure you have something else to offer on the table (e.g. quick activity book or David’s favourite dino toys). In the same way, my kids also do not regard work as something burdensome. It is not just another means to buy milk. Me having to work teaches them to be independent, to be caring towards mom when I get home, to be conscious about spending, to be aware that Mom’s time at home can always be turned to another ‘fun and quality weekend moment together’.

Feel free to read up Proverbs 31 – Wife of a Noble Character or Chasing Superwoman by Susan DiMickile.

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Happy, Quiet Nooks and Time Hacks

Working moms, how many of you have found yourselves spending your full day at home and waking up the following day more tired than ever? I’m sure there were times when you tried to remember what made you so tired? Mulling over these questions never pointed me to the right answers. After all, working moms wear different hats and we don’t have a way of knowing which hat we wear at a given time. One thing is certain, though, there may never have been a time when you don’t get to wear one. However, life hacks is all around us, why don’t we try to apply it on the 24 hours we have – time hacks! I have realized mine are always coupled with the happy, quiet nooks that I have grown to have and love at the comfort of my home.

Time Hack #1 First busy hours are first restful hours of the day

Wait…what? First busy hours are first restful hours of the day? Yup! The alarm clock rings as early as 4am or 5am and it is time for working moms to get up, prep breakfast and get kids to school. While everything is cooking (I mean, literally), I pick up on some reading, have my notebook and pen ready and play some Darlene Zschech. God has a way of giving us a fresh supply of strength daily through His Words and encouragement and also has a way of giving us appropriate and timely reminder we will need later part of the day. If God knows you will need encouragement and persistence later, He will tell you that ‘all things work together for good’ and that He is never late or too early in answering your prayers.

I wish I can capture the birds' chirping sound when you sit on our swing set in the morning. Happy mornings create happy days!
I wish I can capture the birds’ chirping sound when you sit on our swing set in the morning. Happy mornings create happy days!

Time Hack #2 Welcome Home Habit

There is nothing better than to put your feet up and have several minutes to yourself as soon as you get back home from work. But my reality (memorable and fun, too!) picture is four pairs of small hands embracing me and a spatter of small kisses all over my face welcomes me, sometimes as soon as I open the gate or as soon as I step into the house, depending on how early our house dog has warned the kids in the house about my presence. I have a variety of things I do that never fail to get me a little ‘me-time’ as I prep to dive into the nightly house chores. Take the options below while putting your feet up and have enough minutes to recharge for dinner.

  • kids playtime shower – put the kids in charge for Bumblebee to take a bath and Barbie to shampoo her hair
  • water the plants – have the kids use pail, hose and yes, water guns too
  • quiet box for each kid – quiet boxes can contain each kid’s favorite toy or favorite activity materials. For my boys, Geronimo Stilton books never fail and for my smaller kids, you can bring out a set of three toys every other day, this way, they can also get to play with the toys they already have
Have a shelf full of old toys? Take out a set of 3 to 5 toys every other day for kids to use. Variety of toys each day is the key and you don't even need to buy any more additional toys.
Have a shelf full of old toys? Take out a set of 3 to 5 toys every other day for kids to use. Variety of toys each day is the key and you don’t even need to buy any more additional toys.

 

Time Hack #3 Down Time is Recharge Time

I don’t think I will ever run out of creativity how to spend post-dinner time with myself or with the hubby. The options are endless. As soon as you tuck the kids to bed, (9pm on a school night for our house rules), this is when you can do recharge as part of your prep-to-bed-time.

  • finish off that bottle of sparkling grape juice while finishing up a book. If with hubby, finish off the bottle over quality life talks (no kids talk, no house talk)
  • watch an episode or two of your favorite TV series (note of caution: make sure this habit will not evolve into staying up all night just because you cannot wait to watch the entire season)
  • take a long bath. Not pressed for time, take out your face masks, your exfoliant, your favorite scented body wash and scrub away!
Countless dreams shared and answered prayers come from any of our terrace talks
Countless dreams shared and answered prayers come from any of our terrace talks

All of us have 24 hours a day but each one of us spend them differently. Spend yours wisely and start creating your happy, quiet nooks at home!

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